Marta R. Metelko
December 3, 2003
NASA Hosts More Than 250 Small Disadvantaged Businesses
NASA's Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU) held its 8th Annual Mentor-Protégé Conference in Washington, December 2-3. The conference attracted more than 250 small disadvantaged businesses (SDBs) as well as Fortune 500 companies from across the country. The Mentor-Protégé Program is NASA's premier technical and business development initiative designed to provide SDBs with high-tech subcontracting opportunities on agency contracts.
"We are very proud of the quality of work provided to NASA by small, minority, and women-owned businesses," said Ralph Thomas III, assistant administrator for OSDBU. " NASA is committed to working with SDBs, and we are very excited to be a part of the great work being conducted everyday by this group of contractors and subcontractors," he added.
The OSDBU is tasked with promoting and increasing the use of small, disadvantaged, and women-owned business in NASA contracts and subcontracts. OSDBU reported its best year ever in FY 02 (FY 03 statistics not yet available). NASA awarded $3.5 billion in total contracting dollars to small businesses. NASA awarded more prime and sub contract dollars to minority SDBs, $1.7 billion, and women-owned businesses, $743 million, than ever before.
NASA also awarded more prime contract dollars, $480 million, to small businesses owned and controlled by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals (Small Business Administration's 8(a) Program), which was more than any other civilian agency in the federal government. NASA led all federal agencies by subcontracting the highest percentage of total contract dollars to SDBs. NASA significantly surpassed the congressionally mandated eight percent goal for the use of SDBs by exceeding 19 percent ($2.2 billion) for the second straight fiscal year.
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